You’re going to need a bigger boat

Telling people you have a PhD in Genetics is a conversation killer, I get the feeling people assume I will only be interested engaging in high-brow scientific discourse for the evening, perhaps a little ‘confab’ on the Large Hadron Collider? Tentative remarks from friends have led me to believe that they think I spend my days deep in thought wrestling with concepts that are on the limit of human understanding but my most common thought on a day to day basis is …..”You’re going to need a bigger boat” (my inner monologues are often in the second person).

Sequencing the first human genome took 13 years ending in 2003, currently it takes two weeks and later this year it may well be as little as two hours. When it’s easier and more cost effective to sequence a genome then to test a single gene (and that day will soon be here) then the amount of data generated by a single DNA sequencer on a daily database will make our 50TB server look like Raspberry Pi, hence “You’re going to need a bigger boat”.